Screening of Microalgae for Biodiesel Feedstock


Three heterotrophic microalgae identified as Scenedesmus sp. Y5, Scenedesmus sp. Y7 and Chorellasp. Y9 were isolated and screened from natural water based on biomass yield and lipid productivity. Fatty acids’ composition analysis showed that both Y5 and Y7 mainly contained C16:0, C18:1 (n - 9), C18:2 (n - 6) and C18:3 (n - 3) and Y9 mainly contained C16:0, C18:0 and C18:2 (n - 6), suggesting that these microalgae can be ideal feedstock for biodiesel. Considering the specific growth rate and lipid productivity, the culture conditions were optimized for Scenedesmus sp. Y5, Scenedesmus sp. Y7 and Chorellasp. Y9. Based on the optimization of cultural conditions, all of these three microalgae were tested in fed-batch fermentation, and their biomass productivities were 4.960 g·L-1·d-1, 5.907 g·L-1·d-1 and 4.038 g·L-1·d-1; lipid productivities reached 1.5120 g·L-1·d-1, 1.233 g·L-1·d-1 and 0.8112 g·L-1·d-1, respectively.

Share and Cite:

Chen, X. , He, G. , Deng, Z. , Wang, N. , Jiang, W. and Chen, S. (2014) Screening of Microalgae for Biodiesel Feedstock. Advances in Microbiology, 4, 365-376. doi: 10.4236/aim.2014.47044.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Chisti, Y. (2007) Biodiesel from Microalgae. Biotechnology Advances, 25, 294-306.
[2] Meng, X., Yang, J., Xu, X., Zhang, L., Nie, Q. and Xian, M. (2009) Biodesel Production from Oleaginous Microorganisms. Renewable Energy, 34, 1-5.
[3] Gouveia, L. and Oliveira, A.C. (2009) Microalgae as a raw Material for Biofuels Production. Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology, 36, 269-274.
[4] Mata, T.M., Martins, A.A. and Caetano, N.S. (2010) Microalgae for Biodiesel Production and Other Applications: A Review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 14, 217-232.
[5] Hu, Q., Sommerfeld, M., Jarvis, E., Ghirardi, M., Posewitz, M., Seibert, M. and Darzins A. (2008) Microalgal Triacylglycerols as Feedstocks for Biofuels Production: Perspectives and Advances. The Plant Journal, 54, 621-39.
[6] Schenk, P.M., Thomas-Hall, S.R., Stephens, E., Marx, U.C., Mussgnug, J.H., Posten C., kruse, O. and Hankamer, B. (2008) Second Generation Biofuels: High-Efficiency Microalgae for Biodiesel Production. Bioenergy Research, 1, 20-43.
[7] Chen, F. (1996) High Cell Density Culture of Microalgae in Heterotrophic Growth. Tibtech November, 14, 421-426.
[8] Chen, G.Q. and Chen, F. (2006) Growing Phototrophic Cell without Light. Biotechnology Letters, 28, 607-616.
[9] Wu, Z.Y. and Shi, X.M. (2006) Optimization for High-Density Cultivation of Heterotrophic Chlorella Based on a Hybrid Neural Network Model. Letter in Applied Microbiology, 44, 13-18.
[10] Liu, J., Huang, J.C., Fan, K.W., Jiang, Y., Zhong, Y.J., Sun, Z. and Chen, F. (2010) Production Potential of Chlorella zofinginesis as A Feedstock for Biodisel. Bioresoure Technology, 101, 8658-8663.
[11] Griffiths, M.J. and Harrison, S.T.L. (2009) Lipid Productivity as a Key Characterisic for Choosing Algal Species for Biodiesel Production. Journal of Applied Physiology, 21, 493-507.
[12] Miao, X. and Wu, Q. (2004) High Yield Bio-Oil Production from Fast Pyrolysis Bymetabolic Controlling of Chlorella protothecoides. Journal of Biotechnology, 110, 85-93.
[13] Rodolfi, L., Zittelli, G.C., Bassi, N., Padovani, G., Biondi, N., Bonini, G. and Tredici, M.R. (2008) Microalgae for Oil: Strain Selection, Induction of Lipid Synthesis and Outdoor Mass Cultivation in a Low-Cost Photobioreactor. Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 102, 100-112.
[14] Sheehan, J., Dunahay, T., Benemann, J. and Roessler, P. (1998)A Look Back at the US Department of Energy’s Aquatic Species Program: Biodiesel from Algae. Close-Out Report. National Renewable Energy Lab, Department of Energy, Golden, Report Number NREL/TP-580-24190.
[15] Rippka, R., Deruelles, J., Waterbury J., Herdman M. and Stanier R. (1979) Generic Assignments, Strain Histories and Properties of Pure Cultures of Cyanobacteria. Journal of General Microbiology, 111, 1-61.
[16] Yokoyamam, R. and Honda, D. (2007)Taxonomic Rearrangement of the Genus Schizochytrium sensu lato Based on Morphology, Chemotaxonomic Characteristics, and 18S rRNA Gene Phylogeny (Thraustchytriceae, Labyrinthulomycetes): Emendation for Schizochytrium and Erection of Aurantiochytrium and Ologichytrum gen. nov. Mycoscience, 48, 199-211.
[17] Bligh, E.G. and Dyer, W.J. (1959) A rapid Method for Total Lipid Extraction and Purfication. Canadian Journal of Biochemistry and Physiology, 37, 911-917.
[18] Rozés, N., Garbay, S., Denayrolles, M. and Lonvaud-Funel, A. (1993) A Rapid Method for the Determination of Bacterial Fatty Acid Composition. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 17, 126-131.
[19] Becker (1994) Measurement of Algal Growth. In: Microalgae Biotechnology& Microbiology, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 56-62.
[20] Wu, Q.Y., Yin, S., Sheng, G.Y. and Fu, J.M. (1992) A Comparative Study of Gases Generated from Simulant Thermal Degradation of Autotrophic and Heterotrophic Chlorella. Progress in Natural Science (in Chinese), 3, 435-440.
[21] Miller, G.L. (1959) Use of Dinitrosalicylic Acid Reagent for Determination of Reducing Sugar. Analytical Chemistry, 31, 426-429.
[22] Ohlrogge, J. and Browse, G. (1995) Lipid Biosynthesis. The Plant Cell, 7, 957-970.
[23] Borowitzka, M.A. and Borowitzka, L.J. (1988) Microalgal Biotechnology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
[24] Konthe, G. (2009) Improving Biodiesel Fuel Properties by Modifying Fatty Ester Composition. Energy & Environmental Science, 2, 759-766.
[25] Konthe, G. (2008) “Designer” Biodiesel: Optimizing Fatty Ester Composition to Improve Fuel Properties. Energy & Fuels, 22, 1358-1364.
[26] Sohi, C. (2010) Microalgae Biodiesel as a Substitute for Jet Fuel. California State University, Sacramento.
[27] Chen, F. and Johns, M.R. (1991) Effect of C/N Ratio and Aeration on the Fatty Acid Composition of Heterotrophic Chlorella sorokiniana. Journal of Applied Phycology, 3, 203-209.
[28] Damian, I.M.C., Popovich, C.A., Constenla, D. and Leonardi, P.I. (2010) Lipid Analysis in Haematococcus pluvialis to Assess Its Potential Use as a Biodisel Feedstock. Bioresoure Technology, 101, 3801-3807.
[29] Kong, Q.X., Li, L., Martinez, B., Chen, P. and Ruan, R. (2010) Culture of Microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii in Wastewater for Biomass Feedstock Production. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 160, 9-18.
[30] Morowvat, M.H., Rasoul-Amini, S. and Ghasemi, Y. (2010)Chlamydomona as a “New” Organism for Biodiesel Production. Bioresoure Technology, 101, 2059-2062.
[31] Rao, A.R., Dayananda, C., Sarada, R., Shamala, T.R. and Ravishankar, G.A. (2007) Effect of Salinity on Growth of Green Alga Botryococcusbraunii and Its Constituents. Bioresource Technology, 98, 560-564.
[32] Maeda, Y., Sugiyama, H., Sato, S. and Tanaka, T. (2009) Characterization of Marine Microalga, Scenedesmus sp. Strain JPCC GA0024 toward Biofuel Production. Biotechnology Letters, 31, 1367-1372.
[33] Cao, J., Yuan, H.L., Li, B.Z. and Yang, J.S. (2013) Significance Evaluation of the Effects of Environmental Factors on the Lipid Accumulation of Chlorella minutissima UTEX 2341 under Low-Nutrition Heterotrophic Condition. Bioresource Technology.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.